Life Goes to the Movies by Peter Selgin
Dzanc Books, 2009
When Vietnam-veteran-turned-filmmaker Dwaine Fitzgibbon (“D for Death, W for War, A for Anarchy, I for Insane, N for Nightmare, and E for the End of the World”) takes Nigel DePoli under his wing to teach him about movies and life, Nigel thinks he’s found the perfect antidote to his small-town, immigrant child’s upbringing. But Dwaine is arguably insane, and the greatest movie they’ll ever collaborate on is the one he produces in Nigel’s gullible, hero-addled mind.
Their erotically tinged friendship is the subject of what one sly reader has called an “anti-homophobic” novel, a bond strengthened but also tested by their mutual love for Veronica “Venus” Dwiggins, a beautiful albino costume designer. With Dwaine less and less able or willing to distinguish between reality and cinema, Nigel must choose between sanity and loyalty. The story climaxes with Nigel’s gambit to rescue Dwaine from the psychiatric ward where he has taken flight, a scheme involving a considerable budget, a cast and crew of hospitalized V-vets, and the world’s most famous soft drink.